Over the past few months I've been rating my days every evening from 0 to 10 by answering the following question: Was it a good day? The definition of a good day varies for everyone, but for me one important aspect of it is being proud of myself. Particularly having had the discipline to tackle important tasks and resist the temptation of destructive instant-gratification.
Reviewing my days led me to some insights about what makes me feel proud of myself or not. This is what I've found so far, from most beneficial to most detrimental:
In particular, I feel amazing when I reach todo zero and inbox zero (no tasks left to do except personal projects), and I feel terrible when I am completely overwhelmed by a lot of tasks (30+). Basically, in order to maintain a baseline of daily happiness, I must have the discipline to at least make some progress on personal or professional work every day, and maintain my todo list to a low manageable amount of tasks.
Of course life is not only about productivity and discipline. The second important aspect of a good day to me is doing enjoyable activities, as long as they are more enjoyable than destructive. Like everything, it's all about balance. Having occasional beers with a friend is more enjoyable and memorable than it is destructive, so that's fine. An unproductive day filled with quality enjoyable activities can be a great day.
Things that always make my day better include:
⭐⭐⭐⭐: Spending quality time with my girlfriend, friends and family, listening to happy music, going out for a big walk, or chilling in a park.
What is a good day to you?